My son is leaving in 2 weeks for Boot Camp. The closer we get to the date my nerves are going awry. My husband and I are going to be empty nesters and i’m terrified.
This will the first time as I’m sure for a lot of us, that our house will be empty. We lost a daughter a few years ago at the age of 25 and it feels like I’m losing the other side of my heart. I know that’s not the case but it sure does feel like it.
I’m trying to figure out how to stop hovering over my son. I’m going to make him a nervous wreck just like his mom. HELP!!!!
My heart went out to you when I saw your post. I saw myself 2-1/2 years ago in your shoes, although my sailor is an only child. I totally get it that it feels like losing another child after having lost your daughter. I’m sure your son leaving is stirring up all those emotions you felt in losing your daughter. No matter how our children leave us, as moms it’s a grieving and a ripping apart of our hearts. Our children have a place in our hearts that is totally different than what we feel for our husbands, partners, and any one else.
When my son was getting ready to leave for boot camp, I would become overwhelmed with grief and I would go into our laundry room and pray “God, I can’t do this. Please help me.” And then I would be able to go back to my son with a calmer heart. I didn’t want him to have to carry the grief that I was feeling about his leaving because that wasn’t his burden to bear. He was just doing what young people should be doing and going forward into his future. I was terrified that he wasn’t going to be able to make it and that the Navy would eat him alive. We went to his swearing in ceremony and I saw this man-child courageously moving forward and then he left without a backwards glance. I prayed. I prayed a lot. I shut the room to his door for the first couple of weeks because I couldn’t bear to see his things. Getting the box of his “civilian” things was really hard. It felt like the son I knew had died and I was getting his belongings. I wrote lots of letters, encouraging ones, so he would feel the support of home. I sent funny pictures. I kept my grief and my missing him to myself because he was going through a hard enough time without burdening him with my missing him. And then we got the call “I’m a sailor!”. And we got to see him at his boot camp graduation - this young man who had done this hard thing called boot camp and who excelled at it.
The transition to an empty nest is hard at first but I actually like it now. Your son and your relationship will change into more of an adult relationship but there will always be the mom-son love. I know I miss my son more than he misses me but I still know he loves me. He is stationed in our town right now and he and I go on mom-son movie dates because that is something we both enjoy. I enjoy not having the daily responsibility for a child and my husband and I get to travel more. I get to do things more with friends and my time is now my own. I encourage you to start filling your time with something you enjoy, maybe a new hobby, a new activity, a new group of women who enjoy doing the same thing. I hope this encourages you - transitions are always difficult but you can and will make it through this.
I am so glad I found this post. My daughter, my only child, leave May 20, 2019. I am so lost and an emotional train wreck. I too feel like part of my heart is being pulled out. I am so used to being able to talk with her whenever and we are very close. I know this is the best thing for her but I am scared for her, nervous...did i teach her enough. All the "what if..." comes into play...UGH!! Your post really helped!
Thanks DonnaCatLover for that insight!
Sorry for coming to this post a bit late, but I'd love to hear how you are doing!!